Exploratory On-site Atmospheric Cherenkov Radiation Tests at Solar Two

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Session 16 -- >100 GeV Gamma Ray Astronomy
Display presentation, Monday, 9, 1995, 9:20am - 6:30pm

[16.01] Exploratory On-site Atmospheric Cherenkov Radiation Tests at Solar Two

T. O. T\"{u}mer (UC Riverside), R. Ong (UC Chicago), D. Bhattacharya (UC Riverside), C.E. Covault, D. D. Dixon (UC Riverside), D. Gregorich (UCLA), D. S. Hanna (McGill U.), D. Smith (Fermi Lab), S. Oser (UC Chicago), A. D. Zych (UC Riverside)

Preliminary results are presented from recent on-site tests exploring the possibility of using the Solar Two pilot power plant as a new large area atmospheric Cherenkov telescope for 10 to 200 GeV gamma rays. Solar Two is a central receiver type solar energy power plant. It has 1,818 heliostats of about 41 m$^2$ area each that can reflect light on to a central tower of about 90 m high. A section of about 300 to 500 heliostats ($\sim$ 300 m diameter) can be used to reflect the atmospheric Cherenkov light on to an imaging system at the central receiver tower. The imaging system can be a Fresnel lens or a parabolic mirror which can focus the light received from each heliostat on to a camera formed from photomultiplier tubes (PMTs). The image of each heliostat will be observed by a single PMT. The telescope will be aimed to observe the unexplored gamma ray energy region from 10 to 200 GeV, which lies in between the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) EGRET instrument and the current VHE atmospheric Cerenkov detectors. The EGRET sources will be observed in this energy region and the cutoff mechanisms will be studied.

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